These C-Suites Stayed Strong in 2020

As the coronavirus pandemic unfolded in Europe, investors ranked the region’s corporate leaders for the All-Europe Executive Team.

(Peter Juelich/Bloomberg)

(Peter Juelich/Bloomberg)

Corporate leaders around the world have been forced to make tough decisions as they attempt to lead their companies through the global coronavirus pandemic. These are the European executives that most impressed investors during the early days of the crisis, according to Institutional Investor’s 2020 All-Europe Executive Team.

C-suites at Nestle, Unilever, and Allianz were among the top-ranking executives in the sixteenth annual survey, which asks investors and analysts to rate the region’s CEOs, CFOs, investor relations professionals, and IR programs. Executives at these three firms ranked first in their sectors in all four categories, while also earning top marks for their analyst days and environmental, social, and governance practices.

The food producer, consumer goods company, and insurer were among 12 companies that swept their sectors across the four main categories in this year’s ranking. Others included Biotech firm Lonza Group, which was tapped in May to manufacture Moderna’s coronavirus vaccine candidate, and Airbus, whose executives topped the aerospace and defense sector even as the pandemic brought commercial air travel to a sudden halt.

Italian bank Intesa Sanpaolo, French advertiser JCDecaux, Spanish fuel company Repsol, Italian postal service provider Poste Italiane, Dutch semiconductor company ASML Holding, Spanish wireless provider Cellnex Telecom, and French energy company Schneider Electric also swept their sectors.

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In total, 99 companies scored highly enough to earn the designation of Most Honored Company, awarded to firms whose executives earned two or more top-three positions.

The small- and mid-cap division, made up of firms with market capitalizations under $10 billion, had 68 Most Honored Companies this year, including six firms that placed first in all four main categories. These included Swedish tobacco company Swedish Match, French telecom firm Iliad, Italian luxury brand Moncler, British manufacturing company Rotork, and Italian beverage maker Davide Campari-Milano. JCDecaux, which led the media sector in the overall survey, also swept the small- and mid-cap division.

Nearly 1,200 investors, buy-side analysts, and sell-side researchers from more than 500 firms voted to determine this year’s results.